How to Make the Perfect Cheese Plate – and Three Variations to Try

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I love a good cheese board. So easy, so delicious. Makes you look like a master hostess with very little effort. It’s pretty much just a lunchable for adults. 

A charcuterie board can be adapted to so many different gatherings. Today I’m sharing three different variations for your next get together – or night in.

Classic Charcuterie

This spread is great for a big group before a dinner party. I love bringing this as my contribution to Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner (I’m going to wait as long as I can before having to really step in the kitchen and make a 20 lb. turkey for our gigantic family, but for now, this makes it look like I really know what I’m doing in the kitchen.)

Your components: grapes on ste), assorted cheeses, crackers, sliced bread, nuts, dried fruit (apricots and figs are delicious and add nice color), sliced meats, honey or chutney, dark chocolate, beautiful wood platter, small cheese knives.

Your arrangement: The name of the game is triangulation. Listen, this is a fine science, people. I always start with grapes and set them in a triangle pattern on the platter. You’ll want to have all of your components spaced throughout the platter to make it visually balanced. Fill in smaller elements last, and don’t forget to add your spreads or any little flowers or garnishes. 

Classic charcuterie sources: wooden cutting board, classic appetizer plates, navy napkins, gold cheese knife set 

Kids Charcuterie

Charcuterie for kids will make you the mom/aunt/grandma/hostess of the year. It’s really a big snack tray for kids that they can nibble from here and there throughout your party. What I love about this is that it takes the mealtime stress out of entertaining with kids. Hell hath no fury like a 4 year old who’s been told they need to exit the bouncy house to eat lunch. Save yourself and make this easy spread.

Your components: assorted fruits, sliced. I love doing oranges segments, strawberries, blueberries, grapes, apple slices, watermelon. Vegetables (baby carrots, celery sticks, baby peppers, cucumber slices). Pretzels, Chex mix, assorted crackers, sliced cheeses, chips, small bowls for dip, a treat or two if you’d like, kraft paper.

Your arrangement: I love doing kids charcuterie on a kraft paper table runner. It’s fun for the kids and very low maintenance (roll it up and recycle after you’re finished!) Just roll it out, and put the snacks in the center where little hands can reach.

You can use the method described in the classic charcuterie – OR! – make it into a rainbow. Just divvy up your components by color. Once you’re done, add some labels on the kraft paper or write ‘kids only’. If you want to encourage kids to sit while eating, turn your kraft paper into a giant coloring page – add doodles, tic tac toe boards, and shapes for them to color in. Leave small buckets of crayons at either end of the table and let them go to town.

Kids charcuterie sources: kraft paper roll, paper plates, GoGo Squeez pouches 

 Mediterranean Charcuterie

My husband and I are planning an Italian vacation later this year (more on that coming soon), so we’ve been trying to do as the Romans do in preparation. This twist on the classic features more Mediterranean flavors and looks super impressive. This board would be great for a dinner party date night with other couples or for a work party.

Your components: hummus in dishes with small knives, toasted pita bread or pita chips, crispy bread slices, cherry tomatoes, roasted red peppers, olives, cucumber slices, dried figs and apricots (or fig jam!), marinated mozzarella, feta, cured meat. This would look amazing on a stone plate.

Your arrangement: Follow the same pattern as the classic charcuterie board, but add in your cured meats – roll them up or fold into piles.

Mediterranean charcuterie: olive wood cheese knives set, black stone appetizer plate, marble lazy susanemerald green fringe napkins

I hope you loved this post and feel inspired to try one of these for your next party – don’t forget to tell me if you tried it and liked it! What’s your go-to contribution for a get-together? 

Some other charcuterie essentials you might like: 

Love this fun serving board!
How pretty are these lucite cheese knives?!
This set is such a good deal. Perfect housewarming gift.

Just use chalk to write labels on this slate board.
I was so surprised to find this set of 4 acacia wood handle knives for $9!
A set of eight reusable cheese markers – great for large parties.

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